Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / The Barber of Seville

Go To
V'è la risorsa!Translation: 

The Barber of Seville is a 1944 Walter Lantz cartoon directed by Shamus Culhane and starring Woody Woodpecker.

It follows Woody as he stumbles across a vacant barbershop and takes it over for the time, much to the mistreatment of his customers, including a Native American and an Italian construction worker, whom he shaves to the tune of "Largo Al Factotum". Hilarity Ensues.

This was not only the first of several Woody shorts that Culhane would direct but also the first Woody Woodpecker cartoon to use Woody's beloved streamlined design. The art direction was also substantially altered from lush storybook-like watercolor backgrounds to downright minimalist, flat colored layouts.

Not to be confused with the Bugs Bunny short Rabbit of Seville.


Tropes Used by This Short:

  • Art Evolution: Under the previous director, Alex Lovy, the Lantz studio's cartoons were very haphazardly animated and designed and had pleasant, but pretty standard looking watercolor backgrounds. With Shamus Culhane's arrival, the animation only improved slightly, but this somewhat mitigated by the fact that the character and background designs were way better than what we saw before.
  • Circling Birdies: Er, chirping little birdies chirping and circling the dazed Native American's head, to the beat of a classic NA tune.
  • Comes Great Insanity: Don't give Woody the position of a barber if you value your life. Granted, he does a fairly good job on the workman — doesn't get a scratch on the guy — he's just so rough about it.
  • Digital Destruction: The DVD print of the film received a truly terrible restoration job, with way oversharpened picture, bad digital compression, and some nasty DVNR artwork erasing, most obviously during the climax.
  • Advertisement:
  • Minimalism: The backgrounds in this short are very sparsely and feature flat color styling.
  • Poirot Speak: The Italian-American workman tells Woody, "I want you for to give me the whole works, Figaro."
  • Screwball Squirrel: Woody, of course. Unfortunately, he does tend to stray from being a simple screwball into an outright Jerkass at times, a problem that would remain throughout the entire Culhane era.
  • No, You: Woody's retort to the Indian chief after he unwittingly shrinks his headdress into a badminton bird.
Chief: "You give chief the bird, me give you scalp treatment!" (brandishes a tomahawk)
Woody: "No Chiefy, me give you scalp treatment!" (whacks him on head)
  • Shout-Out: When Woody combs his "hair" over his face, he remarks, "Looks like Harmonica Lake" — a reference to actress Veronica Lake, famous for her "peekaboo" hairstyle. Later, when Woody calls out, "Figaro! Figaro!" the workman replies, "Coming, Mother!" — a Catchphrase of the popular radio comedy, The Aldrich Family ("Hen-RY! Henry Aldrich!" "Coming, Mother!").
  • Tonto Talk: The Chief talks this way (despite it being the 1940's).
  • Toothy Bird: "Maybe I can cut my own hair? I cut my own teeth!"
  • Traumatic Haircut: Take a look at the above image... Does it look like the customer is enjoying his visit to the barbershop? Do you think he'll be able to visit a barbershop ever again without having flashbacks to the time Woody shaved him?
  • Visual Pun: Woody puts a steaming hot towel on the chief's headdress, which shrinks it down into a badminton bird. "You give chief the bird, me give you scalp treatment!"
  • Wartime Cartoon: It's implied that the owner of the barbershop has been drafted, and the Victory haircut is inspired by the iconic "V for Victory" slogan of the day.